Will you let your kids play (insert your sport)?
16% will hold their children from playing sports, specifically due to concussion risks, according to a Harris Poll survey sponsored by the American Osteopathic Association. 51% responded that they would allow their children to play on an organized team and the remaining 33% responded that it depended on the sport. Rugby had the lowest percentage of parents that would allow their children to participate coming in at 6%. Basketball had the highest at 66%.
There are stark differences between rugby and basketball and parents are aware of this.
Is there an overreaction by parents and legislators with respect to athletics? Equipment is safer, coaches are more aware of the dangers of TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), and there can’t be more concussions than there were even 20 years ago.
There are an estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions in the United States every year (University of Pennsylvania). From experiences in athletics, I would say this is an understatement. Many athletes downplay injuries in order to stay in the game or not go through the now extensive process of returning to play and thus all of these injuries are not documented.
This raises a lot of questions with respect to the safety of athletes in organized sports today. Are you willing to risk your child suffering a concussion when there is a 19% chance they will get one if playing a contact sport in a given year?
The typical concussion will not end your child’s athletic participation indefinitely but is a topic to be aware of. Athletics are unpredictable. All athletes gain experiences of collaboration and teamwork when they participate and also carry the risks associated with it. This was a great study that brings a tough topic to the table for parents across the United States. There are areas where certain sports are a way of life and concussions do not impede in any decisions of participation. On the other hand there are many factors that impact an athlete’s decisions to play next season.
For more information, the study is linked here.